Synthol demolishes muscle tissue

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Synthol is no longer a novelty. Some bodybuilders have been injecting themselves for years with a mixture of 85 % MCT oil, 7.5 % lidocaine and 7.5 % alcohol, targeting muscle groups they feel are not growing fast enough. Surgeons are now starting to notice the long-term effects of the Synthol rage: and they are not mild.
Synthol was concocted in the 1990s by the bodybuilding guru Chris Clarke. It’s a ‘site enhancement oil’, consisting of fatty acids that accumulate in the muscle tissue where you inject the oil. As a result muscles grow at a fantastic rate. Bodybuilders like Greg Valentino developed an unnatural physique by using the substance – and became world famous. Peter Hiesinger followed his example – and became ill. On websites like syntholfreaks.com you can see the pics of adepts of Valentino and Hiesinger.

Doctors have already written about the dangers of bodybuilders injecting themselves with oil, but more recently case studies have started to appear that describe the long-term effects on bodybuilders who injected themselves with Clarke’s brainchild years ago. Injected fat, the study has shown, causes inflammations that decimate muscles over time.
This happened for example to the 29-year-old bodybuilder that the surgeon Suleiman Ghandourah of University Hospital Marburg wrote about in the Journal of Medical Case Reports. Four years ago he started injecting Synthol into his biceps, but recently these muscles started to play up. They hurt so much that the man had to stop training, and in the end he was constantly in extreme pain.

The man’s biceps not only looked strange, they felt strange too. It looked as though they had developed holes in them. When the doctors made an MRI scan of the man’s right biceps – which was in worse condition – they saw that the muscle was now made up of separate parts. There was oil between the muscle fibres and the remaining muscle tissue was inflamed.
The doctors decided to amputate the most seriously damaged part of the biceps, a piece measuring 11 x 5 x 5 cm. This helped. Six months later the bodybuilder asked the doctors to perform the same treatment on his other biceps.

Doctors at the Klinikum Rechts der Isar der Technischen Universitaet Munchen published a similar case study in October 2012 in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.  A 40-year-old bodybuilder had been injecting himself with sesame oil for eight years. His arms had become so painful that he could no longer train. Doctors asked for an MRI scan and found over one hundred oil-filled cysts in the muscles spread throughout his body.

The doctors operated on the man’s arms [click on the link above at your own risk]. They discovered to their amazement that the man had almost no muscle tissue left in his arms. His arms were filled with pus and fat. The surgeons removed these, but when they did an MRI scan a year later they saw that hardly any muscle tissue had been restored. Three years after the operation the man was still suffering from pain – and could no longer train at all.

Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) Use and Dosage for Post Steroid Cycle. Estrogen Rebound PCT

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We get an almost daily question which asks us what we suggest for PCT and how the person in question has been told by everybody they must use a prescription breast cancer drug called Tamoxifen to ensure they retain their muscle gains and prevent potential problems with gynecomastia. This article will go into some of the details on why Tamoxifen has been recommended for bodybuilders as well as some side effects that most people fail to understand before embarking on the use of this compound.

What Does Tamoxifen Do?

Tamoxifen is classed as a specific estrogen receptor modulator or SERM. It acts as an estrogen antagonist in the brain and the breast area meaning it prevents estrogen from exerting its normal effect in those areas. With respect to its action in the brain it inhibits the conversion of testosterone to estrogen which during a cycle can mean that estrogen levels remain low. Although low estrogen is often considered advantageous by bodybuilders it should be noted that estrogen helps both with the accrual of muscle mass and also helps to boost libido on cycle. In fact, when bodybuilders use testosterone enhancing compounds and run Tamoxifen alongside it, they often lose out on some of the muscle gains and enhanced libido that normally accompanies testosterone elevation.

Although classed as an estrogen antagonist it should be noted that in some parts of the body Tamoxifen actually acts as an estrogen agonist meaning it actually acts in an estrogenic manner as opposed to how most think of it being which is an anti-estrogen. When it acts in an estrogenic fashion in the liver for instance, Tamoxifen can increase levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHGB) which acts to bind to testosterone thus lowering free testosterone in the body. Free testosterone is the amount of unbound testosterone in the system and it is the level of free testosterone which is strongly correlated to the positive effects of high testosterone such as increased muscle mass, strength, and libido. By lowering free testosterone, Tamoxifen has the potential to hurt our bodybuilding gains. This helps to explain why we never hear of people using Tamoxifen on a standalone basis (similar to how a testosterone booster is used) and gaining any muscle mass despite the significant rise in testosterone it is capable of producing. Quite simply, a lot of the testosterone rise is cancelled out by the increase in SHGB.

Another negative of Tamoxifen's action in the liver is its ability to suppress production of the peptide hormone IGF-1. IGF-1 is broken down from growth hormone and is considered to be more potent than growth hormone itself for the purposes of building muscle tissue. High IGF-1 levels make a big contribution to the process of building a better physique and the ability of Tamoxifen to suppress IGF-1 levels is another reason why Tamoxifen use tends to be disappointing for the purposes of building muscle mass. In fact, a recent study which showed a rise in total testosterone (they failed to measure free testosterone or levels of SHGB) and a reduction in IGF-1 levels after Tamoxifen usage is a significant indicator as to why it can prove disappointing for the building or maintenance of muscle mass.

The fact that Tamoxifen is referred to as an anti-estrogen overlooks the fact that outside of certain tissues it promotes estrogenic effects. A study showed that long term Tamoxifen use increased serum testosterone levels by 50% which is certainly a healthy increase. However, at the same time serum estrogen levels increased by a massive 341%. In fact, in the control group in this study, which only used Tamoxifen for a week, estrogen rose after just four days. Considering that the subjects in this trial used Tamoxifen at a lower dose of just 10mg it begs the question of what would happen if used at the higher dose typically seen in bodybuilding circles.

Estrogen Rebound After PCT

Tamoxifen is of course frequently used to suppress estrogenic action in breast tissue to prevent gynecomastia for which it can work rather well during cycle. It will not totally eliminate the possibility of gyno though especially with those steroids that act in a progesterogenic fashion for which something that lowers prolactin such as the supplement Vitex will be required.

Assuming though that your cycle went well and you ran a PCT and you battled through the suppressed sex drive, low IGF-1 levels and low free testosterone levels seen with tamoxifen usage. What happens when you remove Tamoxifen? If we consider the study above which shows a profound rise in estrogen in the body during Tamoxifen use, its removal is going to create a situation where we now have high estrogen levels in the body and with nothing to stop this estrogen from causing gyno in male bodybuilders. This creates a recipe for the kind of rebound gyno that you often hear people complaining about on bodybuilding forums. Adding insult to injury, high estrogen levels are suppressive in their own right which can cause delayed progress in the gym when coming off Tamoxifen use.

Other Health Effects
Carcinogenic action - Tamoxifen has been shown in several studies to increase the risk of cancer and is listed as a known carcinogen by the American Cancer Society. A 2006 study in The Lancet showed it increased mortality rate in women using tamoxifen. Studies in rats  add further weight to the argument supporting tamoxifen's carcinogenic potential with up to 80% of animals developing malignant tumours.
Liver damage - Tamoxifen has been studied for its effects on liver for some time with it being linked to fatty liver in women as well as showing an increased likelihood in the formation of liver cancer.
Cataracts - Tamoxifen is acutely toxic to the eyes with more than one report on a bodybuilding forum showing a user who irreversibly damaged their eyesight. Studies support the notion that tamoxifen can contribute to increasing susceptibility to cataracts.
Blood Clots - Tamoxifen usage is recognised as increasing the risk of blood clotting which if it occurs in a major artery or cardiac tissue can potentially be life threatening. For bodybuilders whose blood pressure may be high it makes Tamoxifen use doubly dangerous.
Low libido - As previously noted the negative impact on free testosterone levels of Tamoxifen can cause users to fail to experience the effects associated with elevated testosterone including libido. Compared to other compounds which increase testosterone, tamoxifen users tend to report poorer libido. In addition, the adverse effect on blood clots means it can make erectile dysfunction more likely as well. It is for this reason that many users will employ a testosterone booster in PCT to help address these shortcomings of tamoxifen usage.
Mood swings - Perhaps the most common complaint of all from bodybuilders using tamoxifen or other SERM's during PCT is they cause unbearable mood swings with frequent reports of tearfulness, and depression occurring among bodybuilders. While not everyone gets this it is notable that these effects don't get reported to anywhere the same extent with other PCT products making it feasible that this occurs as a consequence of the rise in serum estrogen seen during Tamoxifen use.
While many bodybuilders see Tamoxifen as an essential hopefully this article helps to illustrate some of the potential negatives associated with its use. While it can be important in particular situations especially if used during cycles of aromatising compounds, it's overuse and usage in pct can cause a host of issues.
A more sensible strategy for prohormone or anabolic steroids users is to employ the use of an aromatase inhibitor to lower estrogen levels significantly, making an SERM less important, as well as addressing other aspects of PCT which are commonly overlooked and discussed in our article on post cycle therapy. Finally, the use of aromatising products should be limited and if these are going to be used an AI as opposed to an SERM is a much better solution for managing estrogen levels on cycle.

For those who insist on using Tamoxifen during PCT it is important this is combined with an AI to help mitigate against the prospect of rebound gyno which could potentially occur with tamoxifen use. In addition the use of a testosterone booster to help combat the deleterious effects of Tamoxifen on libido and mood is advisable with the use of a product such as Activate Xtreme a good tool to address both this aspect and also to boost free testosterone levels which are otherwise suppressed during Tamoxifen use.

Bodybuilding and Weight Loss: Making It More Difficult Than It Should Be??

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For the last several years, I’ve been asked questions thru e-mail and in person about the particulars of losing weight. Being mostly skinny all my life, I never really gave it much thought because in my case, losing weight is easy. I just don’t eat as much and I keep exercising the same or a bit more.
Simple right?
Do we make weight loss harder it should be?
Isn’t it just as simple as:
Food in moderation (calories in vs calories out)
Decent amount of exercise
That sounds easy but to the people I’ve spoken it, it’s much more challenging.
10 Reasons Why Losing Weight Is Harder Than You Think!
Losing weight might be difficult because it extends just beyond the simple act of eating. According to the people I spoke with, many other factors that influence your ability to shed those pounds.
1. Major lifestyle change: As simple as it might sound to just eat less and exercise more, those two things could be monumental changes to a person’s current routine. It sounds easy when you say it but the act of making it part of your life requires some significant effort. Changing habits is hard. Changing behaviors and how you interact with your surroundings is not an easy task.
The Solution: Start off with minor changes like getting up from your desk and taking a short walk. I use the Fitbit to keep a conscious effort of my activity or lack thereof to at least make me aware of my behaviors. Making many small changes over a long period of time leads to a significant effort.
2. Willpower: People fail because they do not have the willpower. The issue here is that willpower is a short-term solution. It takes willpower not to eat a cookie but it takes something much stronger and forceful to make a lifestyle change that includes weight loss. I do not know a single person that has achieved a major life goal thru willpower alone. They WANT whatever it is. The drive of the WANT is much stronger than the drive of the WILL. Most people are not really ready to make the change. They must want it more than will it.

The Solution: Forget willpower. Write down the reasons why you want to lose weight. Do this in private. Do not post this yet (maybe never). When you want something so bad, you will subconsciously do everything you can to obtain that. You must find your reason to want to do this. A good read is The Body Fat Solution by Tom Venuto. He dedicates an entire chapter to this very subject.
3. Emphasis on frequent eating: There is too much food available to the average person on a daily basis. People are told they need to eat 5-6 times a day (small but frequent meals; grazing, etc). The fact is, you just don’t need that much food depending on your situation. Do you really need 75% of your calories in a day while sitting at a desk job with only 25% left over to spare when you are home or at the being a bit more active? We shifted from 3 square meals a day to 5-6. Are you really that hungry? Do you really need all that food?

The Solution: Find a nutrition program that fits your lifestyle. There’s many options from simple no-brainer healthy eating like Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle to the Carb Nite Solution.
4. Portion control: Over decades the size of a meal has changed. From bigger plates to bigger portions at restaurants. It now takes a conscious effort to not overeat. Maybe your mom always told you to eat what was put in front of you. That makes it harder to control portions when you are given way to much to begin with or you are not in control to begin with of the amount of food you serve yourself. Portions of food have grown over decades and so has the unconscious population. This is part of the larger problem of the obesity epidemic.

The Solution: Become conscious of what you are eating and in what amounts. Initially you might want to track your food. But the very first baby step is to become aware of the problem before making monumental and sweeping changes. Next time you order out, look at the amount of food that is served. Does that seem like a lot and is it more than you need to eat? Cut your plate in half and save the rest for later.
5. Constant attention to everything you eat: Losing weight is made harder when you have to pay attention to every bite of food you consume. People want to be able to eat without having to go thru some complicated formula to figure out what that slice of cake or salad with ranch dressing is going to cost them. Sometimes doing things correctly still does not induce the change in your body you might expect.

The Solution: There’s no way you can just keep doing what you are doing and expect change. But after your initial observations of the foods you eat and in what amounts to become aware of the problem, you don’t need to constantly track every bite of food. You do need to be aware. Over time, your attention to detail will become less and less as you’ll learn how to eat for your specific situation. As much emphasis is given to counting your calories, I do not know of a single human who is successful long term that doesn’t initially do this to get a baseline. I know of several that once they figure out an eating pattern, do not count calories on a daily or monthy basis.
6. Urbanization: The sprawling of neighborhoods has changed how people eat and shop. Instead of going to the local market every day or several times a day, now people shop once or twice a week and load up on food. They buy more than they need. Furthermore the elimination of sports at school because of funding, dangers of a particular sport and fear for your child’s safety (no more walking to school) has made society less active.

The Solution: Find a sport that you and your child can enjoy. If you have no kids, join a gym or a something that involves a group and activity. Walk when you can if it’s feaisable.
7. Frequent weigh-ins: Using the scale as a measure of success and having daily or multiple times per day weigh-ins raises your expectations and dashes them just as quickly if you do not get the results you expect. Society has become accustomed to instant gratification. Send a text and expect an instant answer. The 5 year weight loss statistics are abysmal! Healthy weight loss is a journey. You don’t gain 100 lbs in a decade and expect it to come off in 30 days with a six-pack of abs to boot. But that is exactly what people want and expect. If they don’t lose a 1lb a day, they fret over what’s wrong, why they failed, what supplement they need to take or put forth more effort and revamp their programs. Weight gain didn’t happen overnight and weight loss won’t happen over a weekend.

The Solution: Weigh yourself once a week at most and track the results. This includes body compositon analysis. Do it on the same device and roughly the same time of day. Over time, you will get a very nice visual representation of if your efforts are working or not. There will be less freakouts and more attention to if your efforts are working or not.
8. Food is delicious: And so is wine and beer! One of the reasons weight loss is so hard is that many people like to eat and drink tasty food. It is natural to be resistant to change. Most people do not want to stop eating the things they love. Personally I cringe at the “avoid all processed foods” catch-all phrase that is tossed about. The goal is not to force yourself to eat things you don’t like.

Solution: Get yourself a bodybuliding cookbook. My two favorites are Metabolic Cooking and Muscle Chow. Learn how to make easy and delicious healthier versions of the foods you like to eat. I don’t eat things I don’t like so why should you?
9. You have to make an effort: People are great at making excuses. They underestimate how much they eat and overestimate how much physical activity they do. Most people just are not willing to invest the time and dedication required. They are too busy with life and so they turn to quick fixes. That opens up the opportunity for companies to cash in and promote quick fix weight loss products. They make weight loss sound complicated so that the quick fix solution makes it easy. Get the results you desire without changing your lifestyle (poor eating, lack of exercise).
The Solution: Stop making excuses and find the reason(s) you want to do this. Write down 1 thing you are going to do today to make a change. If that is:
1. get up from my desk every 20 minutes and walk to get water
2. walk around the block every hour
3. drink one less soda
4. add 1/2 the sugar to my coffee
Write down 1 thing, carry that piece of paper. Look at it every day. Tape it to your monitor. When you have mastered that one thing, add another. Pretty soon it will be a list and it those activities won’t be much of an effort anymore.
Recommended App: Lift is a simple way to achieve any goal, track your progress, and get the support of your friends. Check out Lift.
10. Doing this alone: Many people start off a weight loss journey in isolation. Their friends and family may not support them and may even be a negative influence.
The Solution: Having access to a social support group is the key to success. There’s many options for this but one of the best ones that I’m proud to be part of is the Burn the Fat Inner
Circle. I’ve been a moderator there for years and it’s a group of like minded individuals that create a very positive atmosphere for social support regarding weight loss. I think that’s why it’s called the #1 weight loss support community.
Be Fit, Stay Strong!

ANABOLIC STEROIDS

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Changing times have paved way for a plethora of new advancements coming up in every aspect of human existence. Especially when the aspect is associated with the human body itself, how could it ever remain untouched? Today we shall be talking about a very well-known group of drugs being used by people the world over for their benefits. They are commonly termed as ‘steroids'. They are synthetically produced compounds known to regulate the growth of the body and also repair its tissues. They are considered to be mostly derived from testosterone. They are available in many forms such as injections, syrups, tablets and powders. Anabolic steroids at one time were only bought on prescription for curing illnesses like breast cancer, anemia and muscle wasting caused due to conditions like AIDS, cancer and surgery. Today you find people around the world using anabolic steroids even without prescription to achieve their goals like enhancing their appearances, reducing extra fat from their bodies, increasing body strength and other things that these steroids are suited for.

People using these anabolic steroids perpetually belong to all sections of the society and virtually all age groups. Today you will find even teens experimenting with these compounds to initiate faster growth and development. Adult males share an interest for bodybuilding these days which is no more than a passion these days. People not just consume these drugs but also exert physically hard to ensure they achieve the right muscle mass they aimed for. Even women users have not been far away from using these drugs for various reasons.

Anabolic steroids belong to two major families – one is called the corticosteroids which are primarily released in the adrenal gland located above the kidneys in the human body. Their prime hormones are aldosterone whose main function is to regulate the sodium concentration in the body. Cortisol plays an essential role in serving the stress response system of the body to decrease its inflammation.

The second family is referred to as the androgenic anabolic steroids which we commonly call AAS. They are actually hormones which regulate the release of testosterone in the ovaries of the female body and testicles of the males. The androgenic characteristics of testosterone boost the development of male sex features and the anabolic features boost the growth of body tissues by enhancing the process of protein synthesis taking place in the tissues. Their production is regulated by the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain in the human body. Scientific studies also reveal that steroids are compounds which often mimic the effects of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone in the body. By increasing the rate of protein synthesis taking places in the cells, they lead to the building up of cellular tissue, a process which is referred to as anabolism. This process precisely takes place in the muscles. Anabolic steroids also have their androgenic as well as anabolic effects in the human body which shall be discussed in the later part of this article.

Dating back to the time when anabolic steroids, they were first isolated, identified and then produced in 1930's and are now employed to cause the stimulation of appetite and induction of male puberty. It has also been studied that intake of steroids lead to weight gain, increase in lean mass of the body and high quality gains in muscular tissue as well as strength. Of course it has to be lined with high intensity muscle training regime as well.
Anabolic steroids have also been medically employed to cure many conditions. Let's take a look at them:
Bone marrow stimulation : For many years anabolic steroids have been employed therapeutically for curing hypoplastic anemia due to leukemia or kidney failure , especially aplastic anemia.
Growth stimulation: These potent drugs are still used by pediatric endocrinologists to treat children with growth failure . Since synthetic growth hormones are already available these days, the children are likely to confront fewer side effects during the treatment.
Anabolic steroids play a major role in boosting the appetite of its users. It is also employed to cure conditions like muscle wasting in people suffering from cancer and AIDS. Induction of puberty has already been discussed above but is a major issue that is addressed by steroids particularly androgens. Many teenage boys often get distressed about their delayed puberty and induction of testosterone in the body is known to increase height, weight and even muscle mass that is free of fat.

Well, medical advances and research has termed testosterone enanthate as a potent form of safe and a reliable male contraceptive.
That  anabolic steroids are used to add lean body mass and prevent bone loss isn't an uncommon phenomenon. It is mainly used to better this condition in elderly men showing very low levels of testosterone. They are also employed for replacing hormones in these men.

Abuse of Anabolic steroids:
Abuse of anabolic steroids is a serious concern that needs to be addressed every time any person plans to use them. Although they help people achieve their desired results, it is important to note that consuming excessively high quantities of these compounds for a very long time can disturb body mechanism and might cause certain conditions to develop such as high level of cholesterol, high blood pressure, liver toxicity, acne, baldness and sometimes aggressive and violent behavior. According to the nature and the properties of the anabolic steroid being used, they also elevate the level of estrogen in the body. This often causes enlargement of breasts in males known as gynecomastia. Similarly if women consume high amount of anabolic steroids without limiting themselves to the doses prescribed for them, they might suffer from male characteristics like hirsuitism, deepening of the voice and clitoral enlargement in extreme cases.

A few well known anabolic steroids are Anabol, Android, Winstrol, Deca-Durabol, T3-Cytomel, Testosterone Cypionate, Anavar, Testosterone Enanthate, Testosterone Phenylpropionate, Testosterone Propionate, Equipoise. Testosterone Suspension, Trenbolone Acetate and Trenbolone Enanthate, HGH. Depending on the properties of the anabolic steroid and its reaction in the human body, they are administered in the body in different forms such as tablets, syrups or injections.

How Fear Works

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When we sense danger, the brain reacts instantly, sending signals that activate the nervous system. This causes physical responses, such as a faster heartbeat, rapid breathing, and an increase in blood pressure. Blood pumps to muscle groups to prepare the body for physical action (such as running or fighting). Skin sweats to keep the body cool. Some people might notice sensations in the stomach, head, chest, legs, or hands. These physical sensations of fear can be mild or strong.
This response is known as "fight or flight" because that is exactly what the body is preparing itself to do: fight off the danger or run fast to get away. The body stays in this state of fight-flight until the brain receives an "all clear" message and turns off the response.
Sometimes fear is triggered by something that is startling or unexpected (like a loud noise), even if it's not actually dangerous. That's because the fear reaction is activated instantly — a few seconds faster than the thinking part of the brain can process or evaluate what's happening. As soon as the brain gets enough information to realize there's no danger ("Oh, it's just a balloon bursting — whew!"), it turns off the fear reaction. All this can happen in seconds.
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"Fever phobia" may be worse than the fever

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A thermometer is the only piece of medical technology in most homes, so it's natural for parents to take a child's temperature at the first sign of illness. But increasingly, pediatricians are advising caregivers to think about leaving the thermometer in the medicine cabinet.
Experts cautioned against "fever phobia" and instructed doctors to do a better job of educating parents on the relative insignificance of an elevated temperature. Too many parents and caregivers react rashly to a number north of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and make unnecessary trips to the doctor or administer unneeded fever-reducing medications.
"It's been ingrained in people that if you have a fever, you treat it," said Dr. Michael P. Poirier, an expert in pediatric emergency medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va., who has studied caregivers' response to fever. "But you should treat the symptoms, not the fever."
Evidence of fever phobia is everywhere. One study found that the temperature that parents and caregivers considered to be a fever ranged from 97 to 105 degrees. Another study found that 25% of adults would give a child a fever-reducing medication for a temperature below 100. While a fever is one sign of illness, it's not the only sign — and often, it's not even the most significant sign.
"More emphasis should be placed on the illness and comforting the child," said Dr. Alan Nager, director of emergency and transport medicine at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "Fever is just one particular symptom." Not that parents can be blamed. It's hard to resist reacting to a hot little forehead and sad, rheumy-looking eyes. But parents just don't appreciate that fever is the body's way of fighting an infection, said Dr. Janice E. Sullivan.
The fever is a sign that the immune system is doing its job to fight invading viruses, bacteria and other bugs. Studies in animals show that those whose fevers were not lowered with medications recovered from illness faster than animals whose fevers were treated. "Fever decreases the ability of viruses and bacteria to reproduce," Sullivan said. "It causes white blood cells to increase and fight infection. It may shorten the duration of the illness."
Parents and caregivers may think it's important to get a child's temperature back to normal as soon as possible. In one study, 85% of parents said they would wake a feverish child in order to give fever-reducing medications. But the report urges doctors and parents to consider comfort as the main reason to provide fever-reducing medications.
If a child has a fever of 100 but is playing and eating, it's probably not necessary to administer medication. However, if a child with a temperature of 100 is lethargic, cranky and achy, it makes sense to give ibuprofen or acetaminophen to soothe the child, Sullivan said. Parents should call the doctor if they are concerned about additional symptoms, such as vomiting, coughing or a lack of urination. Some parents take the child to the pediatrician or family doctor at the first sign of a fever. That too is probably not necessary if the child isn't acting very sick.
"If you bring a child to a busy office practice or the emergency room, they are at risk for getting something even worse or getting unnecessary tests," Poirier said. There is an important exception: All fevers in infants younger than about 3 months should be checked out because a newborn doesn't have a strong enough immune system to fight off infections and can become seriously ill.
Babies and toddlers are more likely to run higher fevers. But, with the exception of fevers of around 105, the height of the temperature most likely has little to do with the severity of the illness. "There are plenty of benign illnesses that can cause high fevers," Nager said.
Contrary to popular belief, there is little danger that a high fever will cause brain damage or any other permanent problems. It can lead to seizures, but febrile seizures don't cause lasting harm, Nager said.
The other reason to avoid fever phobia is that it increases the risk of a medication overdose. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen — the standard, over-the-counter fever-reducing medications for children — are safe when administered in the right dosages. But recent studies show it's hard to get the dosing right.
"We know that about 50% of parents underdose or overdose these medications," Sullivan said. Many of the problems are due to the use of inappropriate measuring devices, such as a kitchen spoon, instead of a pharmacy-issued dosing cup, spoon or syringe.
"We want to make sure that if parents are going to use medications to reduce fever, they are using them appropriately," she said.

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder

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A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear. Your heart pounds and you can’t breathe. You may even feel like you’re dying or going crazy. Left untreated, panic attacks can lead to panic disorder and other problems. They may even cause you to withdraw from normal activities. But panic attacks can be cured and the sooner you seek help, the better. With treatment, you can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic and regain control of your life.

In many cases, panic attacks strike out of the blue, without any warning. Often, there is no clear reason for the attack. They may even occur when you’re relaxed or asleep.

A panic attack may be a one-time occurrence, but many people experience repeat episodes. Recurrent panic attacks are often triggered by a specific situation, such as crossing a bridge or speaking in public—especially if that situation has caused a panic attack before. Usually, the panic-inducing situation is one in which you feel endangered and unable to escape.

You may experience one or more panic attacks, yet be otherwise perfectly happy and healthy. Or your panic attacks may occur as part of another disorder, such as panic disorder, social phobia, or depression. Regardless of the cause, panic attacks are treatable. There are many effective treatments and coping strategies you can use to deal with the symptoms.

Panic attacks often strike when you’re away from home, but they can happen anywhere and at any time. You may have one while you’re in a store shopping, walking down the street, driving in your car, or sitting on the couch at home.

The signs and symptoms of a panic attack develop abruptly and usually reach their peak within 10 minutes. Most panic attacks end within 20 to 30 minutes, and they rarely last more than an hour.

A full-blown panic attack includes a combination of the following signs and symptoms:


  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation

  • Heart palpitations or a racing heart

  • Chest pain or discomfort

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Choking feeling

  • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings

  • Sweating

  • Nausea or upset stomach

  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint

  • Numbness or tingling sensations

  • Hot or cold flashes

  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy

Many people experience panic attacks without further episodes or complications. There is little reason to worry if you’ve had just one or two panic attacks. However, some people who’ve experienced panic attacks go on to develop panic disorder. Panic disorder is characterized by repeated panic attacks, combined with major changes in behavior or persistent anxiety over having further attacks.

You may be suffering from panic disorder if you:


  • Experience frequent, unexpected panic attacks that aren’t tied to a specific situation

  • Worry a lot about having another panic attack

  • Are behaving differently because of the panic attacks, such as avoiding places where you’ve previously panicked

While a single panic attack may only last a few minutes, the effects of the experience can leave a lasting imprint. If you have panic disorder, the recurrent panic attacks take an emotional toll. The memory of the intense fear and terror that you felt during the attacks can negatively impact your self-confidence and cause serious disruption to your everyday life. Eventually, this leads to the following panic disorder symptoms:


  • Anticipatory anxiety – Instead of feeling relaxed and like yourself in between panic attacks, you feel anxious and tense. This anxiety stems from a fear of having future panic attacks. This “fear of fear” is present most of the time, and can be extremely disabling.

  • Phobic avoidance – You begin to avoid certain situations or environments. This avoidance may be based on the belief that the situation you’re avoiding caused a previous panic attack. Or you may avoid places where escape would be difficult or help would be unavailable if you had a panic attack. Taken to its extreme, phobic avoidance becomes agoraphobia.

When it comes to panic attacks, professional treatment and therapy can make a big difference. But there are many things you can do to help yourself, too:


  • Learn about panic. Simply knowing more about panic can go a long way towards relieving your distress. So read up on anxiety, panic disorder, and the fight-or-flight response experienced during a panic attack. You’ll learn that the sensations and feelings you have when you panic are normal and that you aren’t going crazy.

  • Avoid smoking and caffeine. Smoking and caffeine can provoke panic attacks in people who are susceptible. As a result, it’s wise to avoid cigarettes, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages. Also be careful with medications that contain stimulants, such as diet pills and non-drowsy cold medications.

  • Learn how to control your breathing. Hyperventilation brings on many sensations (such as lightheadedness and tightness of the chest) that occur during a panic attack. Deep breathing, on the other hand, can relieve the symptoms of panic. By learning to control your breathing, you develop a coping skill that you can use to calm yourself down when you begin to feel anxious. If you know how to control your breathing, you are also less likely to create the very sensations that you are afraid of.

  • Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly, activities such as yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation strengthen the body’s relaxation response—the opposite of the stress response involved in anxiety and panic. And not only do these relaxation practices promote relaxation, but they also increase feelings of joy and equanimity. So make time for them in your daily routine.

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Reduce Pain and Anxiety for Dental Patients Using Hypnotherapy

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A common phobia that many people have is the fear of dentistry. They fear pain and possible procedures that could cause them anxiety. This can also lead to a great deal of stress and anxiety over going to the dentist. Many people avoid going to the dentist because of their fear. Hypnotherapy has been shown to help people not only overcome their anxiety and fears, but reduce pain. There are many applications of hypnosis in relation to dentistry.

A phobia is defined as "an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation" (Merriam-Webster). People with a fear of dentistry avoid going to the dentist because of their fear and this can lead to major problems pertaining to their dental health. Common dental fears include pain, loss of control, sounds at the dentist's office, the drill, gagging, and panicking.
According to dentalfearcentral.com, there are three types of dental fears: dental anxiety, dental fear, and dental phobia. Dental anxiety is pretty common and many people have dental anxiety; it is similar to the fear of the unknown. Dental fear is synonymous with a fight or flight response when dealt with a potentially negative dental experience. Dental phobia is much stronger than dental fear. Someone with dental phobia will avoid going to the dentist or any dental procedure at all costs.

Enquist and Fischer (1997) performed a study using hypnosis as an analgesic aid in dental procedures. Sixty-nine participants were randomly assigned in one of two groups. Thirty-three patients received hypnotherapy and 36 patients received no form of therapy or treatment (control group). The hypnosis group listened to a self-hypnosis audio session for a week leading up to their procedure. The hypnotherapy consisted of healing suggestions and helped the patients overcome pain and anxiety.

Results of the study showed that the group that did not receive hypnotherapy prior to the dental procedure experienced a significant rise in anxiety before their procedure. Comparatively, the hypnotherapy group did not show signs of increased anxiety before the procedure. The hypnosis group also required much less analgesics after the procedure. This study shows that hypnotherapy reduced anxiety and reduces consumption of pain medication in relation to dental procedures.

Dental fears can have a negative impact on a person's life and can cause them to avoid going to the dentist. Dental health is very important to a person's overall health. If someone is experiencing a dental phobia, it is important that they seek help in overcoming their fear. Hypnotherapy can help them overcome their phobia and also reduce anxiety and pain in relation to going to the dentist.

Hypnosis can Play a Role in Overcoming Fears

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Many people have fears and phobias that can interfere with their ability to lead a normal life. Most fears and phobias develop due to traumatic experiences and are thus mostly psychological. Researchers also believe that genetics and our brain chemistry also contribute to the development of phobias. A natural treatment that has been shown to help people overcome their fears is hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is an easy and quick method for releasing even deep-rooted fears. Studies have shown that people oftentimes have the same fear as their parents. This is due to observing fear in a parent or relative. Phobias also manifest due to individual experiences. Symptoms of phobias can range from mild to severe. Many people experience anxiety, avoidance, feelings of powerlessness, sweating, and rapid heartbeat. There are natural treatments available to help people overcome their fears, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy.
Chihara-Want says that fears are often buried deeply inside people and caused by earlier experiences or an association. It is estimated that 90% of adults have a fear that interferes with their life in some way. Some people know what event or experience triggered their fear while others have no recollection. Whether someone remembers the experience that caused their fear or if they do not remember, hypnotherapy can help eliminate the fear. Hypnosis allows a person to access repressed memories during a hypnosis session. The hypnotherapist can then help them eliminate negative associations and replace them with positive ones.
Densky also promotes the use of hypnosis to eliminate fears. He says that hypnosis directly targets stress and anxiety and can help remove phobias. Our thoughts and feelings in relation to our fears cause anxiety, but it does not have to be that way. Hypnosis targets the fear and the stress and anxiety that the fear causes and reprograms the subconscious mind to get rid of the negative association. One of the many positive aspects of hypnosis is that it does not have any side effects. Many doctors prescribe medication to cover up the symptoms of fears without eliminating the actual fear. Hypnosis is a safe and natural method of treatment that gets rid of phobias permanently and quickly.
Hypnotherapy works by targeting negative thoughts and emotions in relation to a fear whether those memories are repressed or remembered. Few forms of therapy have the ability to do this. Also, hypnosis is natural with no side effects and eliminates the symptoms of the fear quickly. Eliminating fears can have a positive impact on many lives.

New treatment helps people fight phobias during sleep

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A new treatment may make it possible for people to overcome phobias in their sleep
In a new study researchers from Northwestern Medicine tested the effects of gradual exposure therapy during sleep. The therapy, which involves exposing people to things they fear in small doses, has been previously shown to be effective at reducing fear responses.  However, it had never before been tested during sleep.
For the study, 15 healthy people were conditioned to develop a fear response to an image of a face. Every time researchers showed participants the image, they also administered a small electrical shock and exposed participants to a specific scent. Researchers then assessed participants’ fear responses by studying their perspiration levels and utilizing functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
After these assessments, the researchers examined the participants as they slept, while re-exposing them to the same scent they had been conditioned to associate with fear. Researchers introduced the scent during slow wave sleep, the period of time during sleep when memory consolidation is thought to occur.
"While this particular odorant was being presented during sleep, it was reactivating the memory of that face over and over again, which is similar to the process of fear extinction during exposure therapy," study author Katherina Hauner, a postdoctoral fellow in neurology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
When the study participants woke up, they were exposed again to the image of the face that they had been conditioned to fear. However, their fear response was measurably lower compared to before they slept, according to researchers.
“If it can be extended to pre-existing fear, the bigger picture is that, perhaps, the treatment of phobias can be enhanced during sleep," Hauner said.